W4045: Agrochemical Impacts On Human And Environmental Health: Mechanisms And Mitigation

(Multistate Research Project)

Status: Active

W4045: Agrochemical Impacts On Human And Environmental Health: Mechanisms And Mitigation

Duration: 10/01/2020 to 09/30/2025

Administrative Advisor(s):

NIFA Reps:

Non-Technical Summary

Statement of Issues and Justification

Issue: By the mid-century, the human population is predicted to reach nine billion. While there will be greater pressure to develop sustainable systems, agrochemical use will remain a cornerstone for protecting crop yield and thereby helping to meet demands for increased food production. Inevitably, a portion of the applied agrochemicals may be lost to the surrounding environment potentially adversely affecting human and environmental health. Thus, assuring sustainable crop production systems and human-environmental protection will pose increasingly difficult challenges. To minimize risks to humans and to ecosystems, environmentally sound crop and public health protection will require keen understanding of traditional as well as emerging approaches for the study of fate and effects of agrochemicals along with sound mitigation strategies. In the future it will be of equal importance investigating beneficial impacts of agrochemicals juxtaposed to adverse impacts.


Continuation of the W-4045 multistate research project will enable collaborations that go beyond the scope of any individual state AES or USDA-ARS unit for advancing and transferring science to agricultural, regulatory stakeholders, and the public who require solutions to complex human and environmental health concerns.


Justification: Since chartered in 1956, the W-4045 has provided leadership in identifying agrochemical fate, exposure and health effects, characterizing adverse impacts from agrochemical exposure to cells, organisms, and ecosystems, and putting into practice and advancing mitigation technologies that reduce risks to humans and the environment.Today, the work of W- 4045 extends well beyond the western region with involvement from a wide assemblage of USDA-ARS and nationwide state AES land-grant university researchers-extension specialists. W-4045 members effectively integrate information across scales ranging from molecular to landscape levels to address the fate and effects of agrochemicals and emerging organic contaminants in/on human, animal and environmental health. The ability to cross disciplinary boundaries and to adapt different measurement and modeling tools to address complex emerging environmental problems interfacing with regulatory stakeholders to employ these tools remains essential for improved risk management and risk communication. Cooperating W-4045 researchers represent an array of aligned disciplines in basic and applied biology, ecology, toxicology, environmental chemistry, engineering, risk assessment, outreach, and education to address current and emerging human-environmental agrochemical health issues. USDA-ARS facilities in MN, MD and SD and state land grant AES colleges and their affiliate institutions span over the west (CA, HI, MT, NV, OR, WA), Great Plains (NE, IA), Midwest (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI), east (CT, NJ, MA, NY), and southern states (NC, FL, LA). W-4045 research and extension crosses disciplinary boundaries providing key information to state and national public-environmental health regulatory agencies, soil conservation districts, regional agricultural commodity groups, and agrochemical users. The depth of knowledge and strong collaborations among state AES and USDA-ARS scientists provide a unique amalgamation of research and extension capabilities. This on-going collaboration will remain vital to address existing and emerging challenges for characterizing the impact and devising appropriate mitigations for pesticides and other agrochemicals that are for and from agriculture. The emerging challenges in crop protection will require a broader array of molecular tools for investigating more subtle tropic interactions that can have adverse impacts at the organism, population, community, and ecosystem level. W-4045 membership will continue to include researchers investigating emerging issues who will be needed to develop technologies for future agricultural pest control needs.


The value of W-4045 membership is strongly evident today at the national and international levels. W-4045 members from USDA-ARS (MD) and UC-Riverside AES respectively chaired and co-chaired the 2014 International Congress of Pesticide Chemistry (IUPAC) scientific program activities with program support from many W-4045 members.  Members from USDA-ARS (MD) and AES HI are associate editors of the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.  The member from UC-Riverside is the editor of Science of the Total Environment. Collaborations built in W-4045 have continually strengthened state AES and ARS involvement in the American Chemical Society Agrochemical (AGRO) and Agricultural and Food Chemistry (AGFD) divisions. W-4045 members from ARS MD, UC-Riverside AES, ARS ND, NV AES,MN ARS, LA AES, OR AES, and WA AES serve in official capacities or on executive committees. It is worthy to note, three W-3045 extension specialists and researchers have been recently distinguished as Fellows in the ACS AGRO. As important, a very high percent of ACS AGRO graduate research awards continually come from W-4045 project members in areas ranging from proteomic/bioavailability modeling to land-scale native grass phytoremediation simulations of herbicide runoff. W-4045 OR AES scientists also provide outreach to the public through toll-free and web-based services from the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) . This information center provides objective,science-based information about pesticides pesticide poisonings, toxicology, and environmental chemistry that enable people to make informed decisions. TOXicology NETwork (EXTOXNET) also housed at Oregon State University remains among one of the most widely used internet sites for those seeking technical information on pesticides and household chemicals. Members also work closely with industry and non-profit associations impacted by agrochemical use such as the US Composting Council, state agricultural crop and animal commissions and commodity groups. In summary, the collaborative and multidisciplinary activities of W-4045 have been singularly effective in communicating to other researchers, governmental agencies, industry, non-profits and the public about the potential impacts of agrochemicals and ideas for mitigation.

Related, Current and Previous Work

Committee members have developed methods to assess risks and mitigate impacts of agrochemicals, monitor their environmental fate and transformation, determine adverse impacts from agrochemical exposure to cells, organisms, and ecosystems, and assess/mitigate risk of exposure to humans and non-target organisms. This collaboration has also identified significant interdisciplinary knowledge gaps in agrochemical human and environmental health and led to new research opportunities for member collaboration.


Chemical Ecology and Food Webs


Trap cropping is an ecologically-based integrated pest management (IPM) practice using the concept of alternative host plants to take advantage of host plant preferences.  If an alternative host is more attractive  (usually  via a chemical signal), then insects are lured out of crops and concentrated in the trap crop, where they can be efficiently managed (Hassalani, et al. 2008; Cully et al. 2003; Dillemuth et al. 2009).  MT investigators working with the wheat stem sawfly (WSS) (Cephus cinctus Norton) found host preference behaviors between plants at two growth stages in laboratory and greenhouse conditions and identified and quantified attractive volatile compounds from wheat and smooth brome (Bromus inermis Leyss.) using GC-MS (Beres et al 2011; Piesik et al. 2008) concluding smooth bromes could potentially be used to improve integrated pest management strategies for WSS.


Chemical contaminants can dramatically alter the ecology of natural systems by placing selection pressures on entire assemblages of species. Researchers at Purdue University, IN have explored how evolved responses to insecticides have affected the disease ecology of hosts and parasites across a gradient of agricultural land use.  This work is transformative because it takes a broad integrative approach to how evolutionary responses to novel anthropogenic environments alter ecological interactions in communities, including the important interplay between ecological and evolutionary processes in disease ecology.  Scientists from Rutgers, NJ have developed food webs to examine biota from plants to high trophic levels aimed at understanding the consumption patterns of individual species throughout the web, and use species-based food webs to examine the movement of contaminants to understand their fate, transport and effects (Rolfhus et al. 2011; Mendoza-Carranza et al. 2016).  These researchers have amassed data encompassing over 30 years of temporal trends for several species of birds (Burger et al. 2015; Burger & Gochfeld 2016; Burger & Gochfeld 2016; Burger & Niles 2017; Burger et al. 2017a).


Development of Novel Field and Laboratory Analytical Methods for Fate, Effects and Monitoring


As part of an investigation into the migration of historical agrochemical arsenic from farm soils into groundwater systems, W-4045 researchers in CT are developing a novel method involving the use of environmental bacteria communities as groundwater tracers by utilizing 16S DNA gene sequencing and advanced microbial community analysis methods (Fierer and Jackson 2006).  Biogeographic correlations between soil microbiomes and other environmental factors (e.g. surface features, climatic variables, and plant communities) suggests that microbial community similarity decreases with distance from treated  environments (Griffiths et. al. 2011).


Immunoassays are simple and rapid methods for environmental monitoring and fate studies. Investigators in Hawaii developed a number of immunological assays for various toxins (Fu et al., 2015a-b; Cao et al., 2017), toxic metals (Gao et al., 2015b), pesticide residues (Zhang et al., 2015; 2016; Liu et al., 2015; Wang et al., 2019a-b; Liu et al., 2019a; He et al., 2019) and pollutants (Wang et al., 2016; He et al., 2018). The Hawaii team has developed methods to characterize N-glycoproteins (Baker et al., 2016; 2018) and organophosphate insecticides protein adducts (Chu et al., 2017; 2018). A number of fluorescent probes were also synthesized and evaluated for development of fluorescent assays for in vitro and in vivo studies of drug interactions with proteins such as serum albumin (Wang et al., 2016; 2017a-b; 2018a; 2019c-d; Zhu et al., 2018), aminothiols such as cysteine (Wang et al., 2018b; Zhu et al., 2019a-c), and environmental monitoring of pollutants (Sanchis et al., 2018).


Assessing Agrochemical Toxicity-Exposure to Humans and Communicating Risks


Rutgers scientists have been refining measurement and analysis techniques for a wide range of biota consumed by humans of different socioeconomic status to understand the potential toxic effects of exposure to agrochemicals and legacy chemicals.   The levels in some commonly-fished species contain levels of mercury that are higher than those recommended for children and pregnant women (Burger et al. 2009; Burger and Gochfeld 2011, 2016).  Consumption levels and advisories were estimated through interviews of fishermen (Burger and Gochfeld 2016) and provided a database to better inform the public about the risks of consuming fish, bird eggs and other commodities. The interview has been used in other countries where exposure levels are higher, and is being used by state regulatory agencies (NJ, SC) in developing fish consumption advisories (e.g. McDermott et al. 2003).  Data from the project in Thailand has indicated that farmers, especially those who also fish, are exposed to potentially toxic excessive levels of pesticides (Siriwong et al. 2009), with children especially at risk.


Atmospheric Transport and Fate


Several aspects of pesticide drift and drift reduction technologies remain poorly understood, thus MT investigators examined several aspects of drift including the role of drift-reducing formulations and adjuvants, which are then used for risk assessments of these technologies (Preftakes 2017, Preftakes et al. 2019). These findings can be used to develop a classification scheme for formulated products and tank additives based on their potential for reducing spray drift (Preftakes et al. 2019).


Atmospheric transport may also serve as an important pathway for pesticide distribution contributing to contamination at the air and watershed scale. W-4045 research and extension has improved our understanding of how certain land management practices contribute to and possibly accelerate the movement of agrochemical residues into air, forming part of the basis for evolving pesticide regulations. W-4045 USDA-ARS MD scientists in cooperation with University of Florida & National Park Service scientists showed using air monitoring and model prediction that the organochlorine insecticide endosulfan undergoes long range transport by a combination of drift & volatilization from high use areas to ecologically sensitive areas in Florida. The unique properties of two endosulfan isomers allowed estimation of contributions from drift versus volatilization in the field (Hapeman et al., 2013). This research supports recent United Nations provisions that have called for phasing-out this recently classified persistent organic pollutant (POP) in US agriculture.


Transport and Fate on Land Surfaces


Overland and subsurface transport of pesticide residues and organic contaminants from sites of application is of great concern for protection of water quality. USDA-ARS SD field studies have demonstrated greater potential for offsite transport of new and traditional herbicides from eroded upper slopes when compared to depositional lower slope areas. Soil-specific information is needed to discern the relative importance of interacting soil processes determining the fate and transport of herbicides and other chemical contaminants in spatially variable landscapes. This comparatively new perspective of site-specific characteristics that influence pesticide behavior has assisted in effective implementation of USDA-NRCS soil conservation and crop protection management plans. Although conventional wisdom long held that both strong soil sorption and microbial degradation limited the potential for off-site mobility of glyphosate, an increasing body of literature reports downstream detections of glyphosate in multiple compartments (Battaglin et al. 2014), most frequently in agricultural drainage. Cornell researchers (Richards et al. 2018) found up to 1 percent of applied glyphosate leaving a transport-prone field site (growing no-till perennial grass) dissolved in outflow. 


Agrochemical Impacts at the Watershed-Level


Nonpoint source pollution due to surface runoff is the main source of water quality impairment of surface streams in the U.S. Addressing impairment will remain a high priority, especially where pesticides & other agrochemicals in surface water may impact species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Oregon State experimental station scientists have deployed lipid-free tubing passive samplers at locations in the Pudding River basin Willamette Valley, OR to continuously monitor these pesticides. The Soil & Water Assessment Tool (SWAT; a USDA environmental fate model) was   used to identify hydrologic and landscape characteristics, and land use practices that may affect pesticide surface water loading in watersheds where intensive agriculture occur. Their current application of SWAT, designed to investigate pesticide surface water loading and assist producers in developing sustainable pest management practices, is based on previous work to characterize ecohydrology and solute transport in the Zollner Creek watershed.  In 2016 and 2017 the OSU Extension Watershed Assessment Framework was implemented to evaluate the relationship between land management practices and pesticide surface water loading in the Palmer Creek watershed.


In collaboration with California Department of Pesticide Regulation and the chemical industry, UC Riverside scientists have carried out systematic research to understand environmental fate and transport of current-use insecticides after application around homes and develop strategies to mitigate pesticide contamination to downstream waterbodies (Jian and Gan, 2016; Richards et al., 2017; Cryder et al., 2019; Jiang et al., 2016a,b; Richards et al., 2016). A recent study showed that discharge of wastewater treatment plant effluents into coastal waters has led to contamination of marine sediment by pyrethroids (Taylor et al., 2019).  In addition, UC-Riverside scientists have evaluated the impacts of weather extremes (i.e. temperature) on the effects of pyrethroids (Bifenthrin) in salmonids (Giroux et al. 2019).


Evaluating the Impacts of Historic Uses of Agrochemicals on Water Sources and Supplies.


Groundwater contamination by arsenic at levels exceeding EPA standards is widespread in New England (Flanagan 2017).  Arsenic source(s) are poorly understood but may include both natural and anthropogenic sources (Schooley et. al. 2008; Chapman and Johnson 2002).  W-3045 researchers in CT found little correlation between arsenic levels in groundwater and hydrogeology  suggesting that historical applications of these chemicals provide long term arsenic contamination in the soil. Residues may potentially contaminate groundwater. The use of phosphate fertilizers can mobilize arsenic in the soil (Peryea 1991, Signes-Pastor et. al. 2007). These researchers are evaluating the links between arsenic in groundwater and in the soil by developing a novel method using naturally occurring bacteria as tracers. The effort may lead to opportunities for remediation of groundwater contamination through soil treatment.


Bioavailability and Plant Uptake


In collaboration with California Department of Pesticide Regulation and the chemical industry, UC Riverside scientists have developed passive sampling techniques for ambient monitoring of neonicotinoid and synthetic pyrethroid insecticides in water and sediment (Lao et al., 2016; Xue et al., 2017; Liao et al., 2017; Xu et al., 2018) that are an indicator of bioavailability (Lu et al., 2019). Water scarcity is exacerbated by urbanization and climate change, especially in arid and semi-arid regions such as the American Southwest. Treated wastewater is an increasingly attractive alternative source of water for agricultural irrigation and recycling of biosolids into agricultural fields as a soil amendment.  Many man-made chemicals, including pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs), are present in reclaimed wastewater and biosolids.  UC Riverside scientists have carried out systematic research to understand plant uptake of such emerging contaminants by using different experimental systems.  Agricultural crops are capable of taking up many PPCPs, but the accumulation in edible tissues varies among different PPCPs and plant species, and is greatly influenced by processes such as metabolism (Wu and Gan, 2016; Fu et al., 2017a,b, 2018; Dudley et al., 2018, 2019). 


Similar research in Nebraska is providing a better understanding of how geogenic contaminants such as uranium, selenium and arsenic are mobilized and taken up in irrigated crops.  This research has identified the crucial role of ferrihydrite transformation during irrigation with ground and surface water containing elevated levels of these trace elements (Malakar et al 2019).  The use of synthetic ferrihydrite has potential as a soil amendment to control mobilization and uptake of geogenic contaminants and trace metals and is possibly impacting the occurrence and loading of geogenic arsenic and uranium to groundwater in several public water supplies in Nebraska (Snow, 2019).


Remediation of Agrochemical Wastes


Inadequate or improper container disposal & uncontrolled rinsates from equipment rinsate disposal triggers regulatory actions with consequences for agriculture, landowners, and environmental quality.  Hawaii researchers isolated novel bacterial species (Gao et al., 2015a; Sun et al., 2018; Chen et al., 2018c) and fungal species (Ching et al., 2016; Ye et al., 2017; ) to study the mechanism of biotransformation of pesticides (Deng et al., 2015; Liu et al., 2017; 2018; Fang et al., 2019) and pollutants (Hennessee and Li, 2016; Kwak et al., 2016; Nzila et al., 2018; Fu et al., 2018a; Pan et al., 2018) in addition to co-culture (Liu et al., 2019b) and microbial community studies (Chen et al., 2016; 2018a-b; Feng et al., 2019; Wang et al., 2016).  Palm tree peroxidases have been cloned, expressed and characterized for various applications (Wen et al., 2017; Fu et al., 2018b).  The Hawaii team also has advanced catalytic ozonation technologies to degrade petrochemicals (Chen et al., 2015a-c; 2017a-b; 2019a-b) and recalcitrant chemicals (Chen et al., 2016; 2018d; Liu et al., 2019c; Ma et al., 2019; Xu et al., 2019) in water. 


Impacts of Agrochemicals on Organics Recycling


More than 50% of the municipal solid wastes generated in the US consists of yard trimmings and food scraps that are compostable and can contain residual insecticides and herbicides. Agricultural materials used for composting such as manure, hay, straw and food processing byproducts can also contain residual pesticides resulting in potential for composts to contain residual agrochemicals.  The resulting composts and digestates are used for food and crop production.  Persistent herbicides in these materials can be phytotoxic when they are used on crops that are more sensitive to them than crops for their registered uses.  Using compost bioassays, researchers at Ohio State University's Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) found that four compost samples from more than 70 large composting facilities in the US exhibited phytotoxicity. Analysis confirmed that all four contained pyridine carboxylic herbicides at phytotoxic concentrations.


Determining Adverse Effects from Agrochemical Exposure to Cells, Organisms and Ecosystems


W-4045 members have developed a wide array of analytical tools to improve assessment of ecological impacts from agrochemical run-off and other environmental stressors that include heavy metals, nutrients, salinity changes and oxygen depletion. Examples include work from Purdue, UC Riverside, Oregon and Louisiana on information at the cellular level to evaluate how organisms respond to environmental stressors and transcriptomic/proteomic/metabolomic approaches investigating declining aquatic invertebrate populations and response of fish to different agrochemical pollutants.


Purdue University researchers have investigated the bioaccumulation potential and toxicity of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) entering agricultural environments as crops are now commonly fertilized with biosolids obtained from waste water treatment plant sludge. They have confirmed that PFAS bioaccumulation is higher in long chain (>C8) and sulfonate PFAS compared to shorter chain (<C6) and carboxylated forms (Hoover et al. 2017; Abercrombie et al. 2019; Flynn et al., 2019; Hoover et al., 2019; Foguth et al. 2019). Developmental delays have also been detected after PFAS exposure at the lowest concentration tested (10 ppb). Similarly, UC-Riverside And Oregon State University scientists have evaluated  the endocrine disrupting effects of diuron (Buruaem Moreira  et al. 2018a; 2018b) and bifenthrin (Bertotto et al.2017; 2018;2019; Brander et al. 2016b; DeCourten et al. 2017, DeCourten et al. 2019b) on a number of fish species to enhance adverse outcome pathway (AOP) data. AOPs can be used to predict population level effects of these compounds as single stressors and combined with other stressors such as salinity and temperature (Buruaem Moreira  et al. 2018a; 2018b; Giroux et al. 2019).


Oregon researchers found exposures to environmentally-relevant concentrations of pyrethroids and other agrochemicals that act as endocrine disruptors (EDCs) are a long-established threat to aquatic ecosystems (Brander 2013, Schug et al. 2016, Windsor et al. 2018) resulting in a wide array of downstream effects at the molecular, organism, and even population or community levels. These effects can persist over multiple generations (Pait and Nelson 2002, Guillette 2006, Brander et al. 2016a, Brander et al. 2017, DeCourten et al. 2017, 2019a,b). Population level implications of exposure to EDCs range from reduced fecundity to total extinction (Kidd et al. 2007, Harris et al. 2011, White et al. 2017).


Emerging Agrochemical Pollutants


National and international monitoring studies are finding agrochemical contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) such as pharmaceuticals, antibiotics, disinfectants, and organic contaminants from packaging/nanomaterials used for humans and in animal production.  USDA-ARS MN scientists are comparing assessments of agricultural and urban land use with measured spatial and temporal occurrences of CECs in water and sediment samples from sub-watersheds (Fairbairn et al., 2015) to be used by policy-makers to aid in developing targeted mitigation strategies to reduce pollution.


Plastic is used in agrochemical formulations such as encapsulated pesticides, to shield plants from extreme temperatures, in fencing around crops (Briassoulis et al. 2013) and is an emerging pollutant related to many anthropogenic activities. Plastic debris is well known to collect in waterways and coastal areas, breaking down to microplastics (> 5 mm) and having a wide variety of impacts on aquatic life (Andrady 2011). Reported effects of microplastic ingestion vary from no acute effect (Kaposi et al. 2014) to reduced growth (Athey et al. 2020), depressed energy reserves (Wright et al. 2013) and altered endocrine function (Rochman et al. 2014).  Some effects are possibly the result of adsorbed contaminants to microplastics.  Oregon researchers have demonstrated that trophic transfer is a significant route of microplastic exposure that can cause detrimental effects in sensitive life stages (Baechler et al. 2020; Athey et al. 2020).


Effects of Agrochemicals on Pollinators


Pollinator health will remain an ongoing US concern among beekeepers, regulatory agencies, and the public. Although there is no consensus about the causes for Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), certain agricultural pesticides that include nitroguanidine-substituted neonicotinoid insecticides have been implicated as contributing to colony losses.  MT investigators conducted research on insecticide susceptibility of the honey bee and the alfalfa leafcutting bee that may also serve as a surrogate for other solitary bees.  Their findings suggest that alfalfa leafcutting bees are not more sensitive than honey bees and that risk to both species can be effectively managed (Piccolomini et al. 2018a, 2018b). UC Riverside scientists have developed an in vivo SPME method that can be used to monitor neonicotinoids in live plant tissues.  The method is based on the use of a water-absorbing polymer to coat a thin fiber that can be inserted into a live plant and removed periodically for analysis of neonicotinoid concentrations in the plant sap using LC-MS/MS.  High sensitivity and reproducibility has been demonstrated in stems and leaves of soybean and lettuce (Qiu et al., 2019).


Relationship of W-3045 to Other Projects


A thorough search of the CRIS system was conducted to determine if the proposed research is being duplicated in any other USDA supported project.  No other committee appears to address similar issues of environmental contaminants with a multidisciplinary approach from the perspectives of toxicity, exposure, risk and mitigation.  The W-4045 committee focuses on agrochemical toxicity, fate-transport, and ways to mitigate agrochemical impacts at the cellular to landscape-scale to improve human and ecosystem health.   Some of our W-4045 colleagues are members of other multiple multistate groups and share relevant information at annual meetings.  Participants in W-4045 have been involved in establishing tolerances of pesticides on specialty crops, a major goal of the IR-4 program, as well as generating data upon which pesticide regulatory policy is based at both the federal and state level.


  1. Identify, develop, and validate analytical methods, bioassays and biomarkers.
  2. Characterize abiotic and biotic processes that influence the sources, fate, transport and transformations of agrochemicals in agricultural and natural ecosystems.
  3. Understand beneficial and adverse impacts from agrochemicals to cells, organisms, ecosystems, and communities.
  4. Quantify and mitigate human and environmental impacts of agrochemicals.


Objective 1:   Identify, develop, and validate analytical methods, bioassays and biomarkers.


Measurement technologies will continue to be optimized in environmental and biological matrices to better assess potential agrochemical impacts. Research will be focused at The Ohio State University, Cornell University, Purdue University, USDA-ARS facilities in Beltsville, Minnesota, the University of California, Riverside and the University of Hawaii, Louisiana State University and North Carolina State University.  Ohio State University's OARDC researchers will develop appropriate analytical tools to better characterize agricultural waste management processes and their effects on agrochemical fate and persistence.  They will use bench-scale reactor systems to track the fate of environmentally persistent pyridine and pyrimidine carboxylic acid herbicides that are present in commercial feedstocks, finished composts, and anaerobic digestates.  This work will include procurement of compost throughout the US for residue analysis and bioassay testing using sentinel plant species.  Trace-level residue analyses will be developed in consultation with herbicide producers and W-4045 members with expertise in this area to track their fate and allow for multistate screening of composts.  A larger pilot scale composter system will be used to generate large quantities of composts from contaminated feedstocks for testing and evaluating mitigation strategies.


Pesticides will continue as cornerstones of integrated pest management to meet growing demands for food and fiber production.  Pesticide exposure has been suspected as a cause of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease as well as the collapse of honey bee colonies.  Fluorescent probes will be designed by Hawaii researchers and synthesized for in vivo study of mechanisms of pesticide action and toxicity. Haptens will be designed and synthesized for production of antibodies and development of immunosensors.  Enzyme and receptor inhibitors will be designed, synthesized and used as molecular probes to study the action mechanism of neurotoxicants.  A developed in vivo SPME fiber tool by UC Riverside Scientists can be used in flowering plants and bee-attracting plants (e.g., oilseed rape) to understand the distribution and movement of neonicotinoids at different growth stages and to quantify accumulation in pollen and nectar.  Influences of application methods (e.g., seed coating and spraying), different neonicotinoid compounds, and different plant species on the levels of pesticides in the target plant organ may be systematically evaluated. This knowledge should improve our mechanistic understanding of factors contributing to elevated exposure of pollinators such as honeybees to flowering plants due to the use of neonicotinoids. 


Methods will continue to be refined for measuring off-site movement of agrochemicals to air, soil and surface water and to predict their adverse effects on biota.  USDA-ARS Beltsville and Minnesota scientists will continue to characterize the long-range atmospheric fate of agrochemical persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and contaminants of emerging concern for mitigation in surface and ground waters.  Louisiana scientists will refine methods for detection of new rice herbicides and chemicals used in aquatic toxicity studies by tandem mass spectrometric methods.  UC-Riverside and Purdue will also undertake studies to develop biomarkers for adverse effects in aquatic organisms.  Using a combination of laboratory exposures to pesticides coupled with sample chemical analysis, transcriptomic analyses will be used to predict adverse outcomes using specific pathway analyses software such as Ingenuity Pathway Analysis to identify molecular responses in organisms. 


Objective 2: Characterize abiotic and biotic processes that influence the sources, fate, transport and transformations of agrochemicals in agricultural and natural ecosystems.


Methods for the study of agrochemical sources, transport and transformation (mechanisms and rates) will be developed at Montana State University, Cornell University, Louisiana State University, Oregon State University, UC-Riverside, University of Nebraska, University of Connecticut, University of Hawaii, North Carolina State University and USDA-ARS locations at Riverside,CA, St. Paul and Morris, MN, and Beltsville, MD.  Mechanisms responsible for agrochemical transport and fate will be the same as those for contaminants from wastewater treatment systems as well as general use (e.g. petroleum-based) products, thus work in these areas is directly translatable to agrochemical mechanisms. 


Projects in MT and LA are characterizing sources and concentrations of contaminants from agricultural use products as well as contaminants from wastewater treatment systems.  Louisiana is characterizing the presence of pesticides in the Atchafalaya basin from their use on crops (rice, corn, turf, sweet potatoes, sugar cane) in this area.  Researchers in MT characterizing opioid contamination in water treatment plant inflows and outflows are (1) tracking and quantifying aggregated use of abused drugs and related pharmaceuticals in wastewater to identify drug use trends from a collective population over time, (2) measuring post-wastewater effluent to identify drugs of abuse not removed from waste water treatment systems that may lead to cumulative environmental risks for drinking water sources and the environment, (3) determining the correlation between drug estimates from wastewater analysis and other drug use indicator data, (4) translating and sharing data with project partners and other interested stakeholders to inform community initiatives addressing the opioid crisis and other drugs of abuse which will expand future translational research efforts.


Remediation technologies are important tools to reclaim chemically contaminated environments. The Hawaii team will continue to develop economical and efficient catalysts for uses in catalytic ozonation of organics in water. Bioremediation is the use of microorganisms for the removal of contaminants from the environment.  The Hawaii group will isolate and identify novel microbial species from various matrices including soils and biodiesels and will work with researchers in Louisiana to isolate microbes from soils and waters with known petrogenic origin.  Novel species will be used as catalysts to degrade pesticides. Mass spectrometry with proteomics can elucidate adaptation mechanisms for microbial response to pesticides as well as mechanisms of degradation of pesticides. Genomic and metabolomic techniques will be used to aid the proteomic studies.  Microbial isolation, identification, characterization and biotransformation will be performed according to the methods established in these laboratories.  Particular attention will be paid to peroxidases, hydrolases and oxidases that are responsible for biodegradation.


Organometallic agrochemicals, many historical, have resulted in contaminated environments.  University of Connecticut will continue to investigate the presence, fate, and transport properties of agricultural arsenic in soil and domestic groundwater sources.  Researchers will collect soil, shallow groundwater, and bedrock groundwater samples and test for arsenic presence, leachability, and bacterial biomarkers identified using DNA gene sequencing.  Results will be used to better understand sources, transport mechanisms, and fate. Additionally, historical change in land use from agricultural to residential will be classified using repeat historic aerial photos, and presence of agrochemical arsenic will be related to historical land use based on sample results. Nebraska researchers will be investigating factors affecting uptake into crops, and develop methods to control uptake.  Field and greenhouse experiments at the Nebraska AES with corn, soybean and dry edible beans grown under intermittently irrigated conditions show which crops are prone to bioaccumulation under no or moderate soil moisture stress conditions. New Jersey researchers will collect environmental samples and analyze them for pesticide residues and heavy metals and assess whether the levels pose potential risks to human and ecological health.  They will measure heavy metals and other environmental chemicals in biota at different nodes (including humans) on the food chains of estuarine and aquatic systems, and will measure metals and pesticides in crops in agricultural communities (using Thailand as a model system) to examine pesticides and heavy metals in fish from the rivers that pass through agricultural lands.  They will also investigate farmers and agricultural product vendors who market fresh fruit and vegetables.


Researchers at Cornell, Oregon, and LA are investigating processes needed to simulate off-site transport and subsequent fate of pesticides entering aquatic ecosystems.  Cornell is investigating mobilization of glyphosate (Richards et al. 2018),  conducting high-frequency edge-of-field outflow (runoff and drainage) testing coupled with hydrologic characterization.  Determination of these mechanisms will help to better define potential mitigation measures such as improved timing of application vis-à-vis hydrologic events.  Oregon AES extension specialists will continue to explore application of regional pesticide modeling that incorporate continuous passive sampler monitoring and spatial analysis to provide state-local agency-producer stakeholders forecasting tools for managing impacts of pesticide and other agrochemical surface water loadings to critical stream habitats. SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) will be further refined to evaluate the relationship between land use, pesticide use practices, climate, and potential for pesticide surface water loading at the watershed scale.  Input data, model parameters and/or model processes will be augmented to best simulate changes in land cover/land use, changes in pest management or the implementation of beneficial management practices.  Model enhancements will continue to aid IPM and other beneficial management practices to reduce watershed pesticide loading. In addition, model simulations will be used to identify watershed areas where the implementation of mitigation measures could have the greatest impact on the reduction of agrochemical loading.  OR AES extension specialists will also continue to take a leading role in communicating pollinator health and economically viable best management practices that can reduce pollinator risks from exposure to pesticides while controlling managed honey-bee pests and diseases. Efforts from W-4045 researchers in WA and NC will continue to examine the possible pesticide impacts on colony health from pollen collected by foraging bees on agricultural crops and on flowering plants surrounding managed turf areas on golf courses.


Louisiana researchers will be assessing sunlight-driven mechanisms influencing chemical degradation in aquatic ecosystems focusing on rice.  Both laboratory and field-based methods following chemical dissipation and degradation in water-sediment systems and actual field settings for new rice active ingredients will be conducted.  Additionally, methods used to assess pesticide degradation by photochemically-produced oxidants will be incorporated into regulatory exposure assessment models, in cooperation with pesticide registrants and US EPA scientists, to most accurately represent chemical behavior in this unique ecosystem.


Objective 3 : Understand beneficial and adverse impacts of agrochemicals on cells, organisms, ecosystems, and communities.


Agrochemicals have numerous beneficial effects.  Montana AES scientists will determine volatile profiles from field and greenhouse grown plants using GC-MS following Piesik et al. (2008). Intact plants will be enclosed in a glass volatile collection chamber.  Collected volatiles will be analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and the analysis of overall volatile production will be conducted using a SAS® Mixed Model multivariate analysis of variance (Weaver et al. 2009).


Environmental stressors such as pesticides, heavy metals, nutrients, pharmaceuticals, petroleum-based chemicals and oxygen can be detrimental to organisms.  Combined with weather extreme stressors, they are a growing global concern with respect to environmental health and safety.  Scientists at UC-Riverside and Purdue will jointly employ adverse outcome pathway models to predict the impacts of pesticides coupled with “weather extreme” stress (i.e. salinity and temperature) to link molecular effects at the transcriptome and metabolome with cellular effects in the brain and gonads which can subsequently be used to estimate reproduction/behavior and population impacts, particularly in salmonids.


Ecological communities are complex systems composed of species representing different trophic levels and functional groups that directly and indirectly interact.  A critical realization of ecological research is that our ability to predict the outcome of species interactions within communities requires more than just simple knowledge of individual species and pairwise interactions. This information needs to be integrated into a broader community framework that accounts for the indirect interactions that inherently arise when communities are assembled.  Research at Purdue will use a combination of field surveys, mesocosm studies, and laboratory experiments. This approach allows researchers to identify field patterns which are used to generate hypotheses that are tested with controlled experiments.  Toxicity data from developing vertebrates exposed to PFAS mixtures is scarce.  Purdue researchers are also applying a systematic Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) framework to study the effects of PFAS mixtures on developing fish and amphibians.  Their cross-disciplinary approach is innovative, employing a variety of tools to develop computational models for predicting bioaccumulation and thyroid disruption of PFAS mixtures, mostly centered on metamorphosing amphibians.  By using whole animal and high-throughput (cell line) models, they will be able to conduct detailed studies on the adverse outcomes of PFAS for use in risk assessments.


Chemicals can behave differently in seawater than in freshwater and this can differentially impact estuarine organisms. Researchers in Oregon and Louisiana are investigating the lethal and sublethal toxicity of commonly used agrochemicals (insecticides, herbicides, fungicides) across a salinity gradient.  Use of the EPA whole effluent toxicity model Menidia beryllinawill generate data relevant to North American estuaries and allow for cross comparisons with other data sets.  Researchers in Oregon are additionally investigating micro- and nanoplastic toxicity across a broad range of key aquatic species from freshwater, estuarine, and marine ecosystems. This research will address significant gaps in our understanding of the risk associated with micro- and nanoplastics exposures.


Objective 4: Quantify and mitigate human and environmental impacts of agrochemicals.


Researchers in MT will use computer simulations of insect predator-prey interactions using the individual-based model, TrophicLink, to predict the effects of Bt and non-Bt Maize on natural enemy abundance (Brown 2017).  This work will involve additional simulation modeling of temperate and tropical agroecosystems and incorporating thermal development and more specific crop development parameters into the model.  Verification and validation of results and the model will be accomplished through field observations and within-model validation techniques.  A new project will assess human-health and ecological risks from new insecticides used for the management of mosquitoes.  These new active ingredients include deltamethrin, spinosad, prallethrin, and pyriproxyfen. Through a combination of field research and environmental exposure modeling, estimates of exposure to non-target receptors will be compared to toxicity thresholds to estimate risks. An ultimate goal of this work is to incorporate leading-edge risk assessment and decision-analytic techniques to improve integrated pest management (Peterson et al. 2017, 2018).  These techniques involve Bayesian statistical approaches as well as expert elicitation, artificial intelligence, multi-criteria decision making, and weight of evidence.  An output of this work will be a smartphone app that agricultural producers can use to assess their risk for wheat curl mite and wheat streak mosaic virus disease outbreaks.


The assessment of plant uptake and potential human exposure through dietary intakes is constrained by the sheer number of chemicals in reclaimed wastewater and biosolids.  It is infeasible to use the conventional experimentation-based approach to tackle this challenge.  UC Riverside scientists propose to use a process-driven framework to screen and identify a priority list of emerging contaminants.  The framework will make use of predictive models governing the various interface processes, such as root uptake coefficients, translocation factors, as well as degradation in rhizosphere soil and metabolism in plants, to estimate the potential for accumulation in edible tissues under common agricultural management conditions.  Knowledge from many years of research on pesticides may be leveraged, and molecular descriptor-based predictions may be incorporated. 


Planned collaborations with the University of Connecticut will further investigate the role of historical arsenic insecticide use in local contamination of groundwater from historic fertilizer use.  The final list of “high risk” emerging contaminants may serve as candidates for further investigation under greenhouse and field conditions.  This approach will maximize the value of limited research resources while contributing to the safe reuse of wastewater and biosolids in agriculture. 


New Jersey researchers will record observations of the behavior of people when using, applying and storing pesticides, survey of their use, assess exposure levels in agricultural communities in Thailand and New Jersey, and assess fish consumption behavior and subsequent risk levels.  Thailand is used as a model system for examining pesticide exposure and associated human behavior because there are much higher levels of exposure, thus this information gained can be applied to farmers world-wide.  The estuaries and bays in New Jersey are a model system for examining exposure to legacy agricultural chemicals, chemicals from other human activities, and chemicals from natural bedrock and ecosystems.  The NJ bays have thriving aquaculture, industries, and shipping, and are bounded by human communities that are vulnerable to severe weather events and extreme flooding.  The latter also places additional stresses on the fate and transport of chemicals within these systems


UC Riverside and Louisiana scientists are currently evaluating wetlands to mitigate urban-use pesticide and petroleum contamination and improve water quality. In highly urbanized Southern California, surface streams often are contaminated with pesticides such as pyrethroids and fipronil.  Louisiana salt-marsh wetlands have contamination from continued petroleum exploration and refining activities.  Wetlands provide multiple mechanisms for retention and degradation of pesticides and petroleum, such as sedimentation, vegetative filtration, microbial degradation, phytoremediation, and photolysis. Water and sediment samples will be collected at various cells of the Prado wetland complex located in Corona, California, through different seasons.  Petroleum fate in simulated salt marsh wetlands will be measured in mesocosms at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortia (LUMCON) station in Cocodrie, LA. Pesticide loads entering and exiting wetland cells and though the entire wetland system will be used to estimate the removal efficiency, and to understand conditions facilitating pesticide removal from the drainage water.

Measurement of Progress and Results


  • 1. The results of W-4045 research will be disseminated to the scientific community through publications in refereed journals, presentations and at national and international meeting venues. Comments: State AES and USDA ARS will continue their collaborative involvement at the multi-state, national, and international levels promoting symposia on transport and fate of agrochemicals for and from agricultural ecosystems. Examples include presentations at the American Geophysical Union, The American Chemical Society (ACS) divisions of Agrochemicals (AGRO), Environmental Chemistry (ENVR) and Agricultural and Food Chemistry (AGFD). Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC). International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC).
  • 2. Research and extension outputs will be presented to lay stakeholders. Comments: Vehicles for this include trade magazine publications; outreach presentations and materials; pesticide information centers; technical reports to growers, manufacturers, and crop consultants; workshops; online education modules ; presentations to state commodity groups, industry groups (e.g., Nebraska Agribusiness Association members, US Composting Council) state crop commissions local watershed and conservation districts , funding organizations, presentations at annual field days; presentations to Pest Control Advisors, operators, and staff; and Certified Crop Advisor proficiency testing modules.
  • 3. Members will submit collaborative research proposals assessing and communicating agrochemical risks to humans and environment and mitigation strategies to state and national funding agencies. Comments: Because one of our research aims is to provide information about agrochemical efficacy and best management practices, W-4045 researchers will be in direct communication with agrochemical manufacturers and the EPA to offer suggestions for improving product efficacy and developing label recommendations and restrictions to protect human and environmental health. Results will also be available to federal and state regulatory agencies, which may use this information in future decisions regarding agrochemical registration, risks/benefits, tolerances, and restrictions.
  • 4. The use of smooth brome to be used in integrated pest management like perimeter trap cropping for behavioral, temporal and spatial manipulations.
  • 5. A better understanding of systemic translocation and distribution of neonicotinoids in flowering plants and variables leading to reduced exposure to pollinators.
  • 6. Knowledge on the performance of wetlands in removing pesticides and other aquatic pollutants will allow strategies for maximal pesticide removal.
  • 7. Models and frameworks to strategize risk assessment of emerging contaminants during use of reclaimed wastewater and biosolids in agriculture, and identification of a short list of emerging contaminants that may pose the highest risk to humans due to contamination to food produce and dietary intakes.
  • 8. A review article led by NE researchers highlighting the issue of declining irrigation water quality worldwide.
  • 9. Creation of a high-resolution map of arsenic distributions in soil throughout parts of eastern Connecticut soils. Comments: This includes spatial relationships between agrochemical arsenic in soil to arsenic contaminated wells will be useful from a human health standpoint, something that will be of interest to the EPA and Department of Public Health. The development and use of 16S DNA gene sequencing as a practical and affordable groundwater tracer tool would become an available method for future groundwater investigations
  • 10. Development of rapid and sensitive analytical methods such as test stripes for fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides.
  • 11. Development and evaluation of economical catalysts for the advanced catalytic ozonation treatment of wastewaters, isolation and characterization of novel bacterial species for bioremediation applications, and cloning, expression and structure and function studies of novel enzymes.
  • 12. Biomarker development for endocrine, reproductive and behavioral effects in aquatic organisms. Comments: These can be used in field settings to estimate population level changes in biota exposed during pesticide runoff or discharge events.
  • 13. New knowledge in protein structures and function.

Outcomes or Projected Impacts

  • 1. Better understanding the adverse outcome pathways of pesticides as individuals and mixtures will reduce uncertainty and aid regulators conducting ecological risk assessments.
  • 2. MT research will inform sawfly management practices and may significantly reduce annual wheat loss to sawflies. The development of ecologically-based pest management strategies, such as trap cropping, in other systems will be critical to the productivity and sustainability of agricultural systems in the future.
  • 3. The research on comparative risk assessment of insect disease vectors and associated management tactics will help inform public policy debates on the risks and benefits of strategy options for IPM of vectors.
  • 4. The research on drugs in drinking water and wastewater epidemiology will inform community initiatives addressing the opioid crisis and other drugs of abuse.
  • 5. The research on incorporating leading-edge risk assessment and decision-analytic techniques to improve integrated pest management will directly improve decision-making by producers and others in agriculture.
  • 6. Publications and presentations from all projects will be used throughout the U.S. to inform policy debates on biotechnology crops, pesticides, environmental risk, and public health. Citations of publications and citations indices are good indicators of outcomes. Collaborations of W-4045 researchers with the Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science at NC State will insure results and expertise from this multi-state project are incorporated into workshops that include state and federal pesticide regulators as well as scientists in the agrochemical industries.
  • 7. All work will result in training of students who then will become professionals in these areas.
  • 8. An improved understanding of sources of arsenic in groundwater will allow ways to identify opportunities to remediate contaminant sources rather than rely on expensive in-home treatment systems.
  • 9. Understanding the evolutionary responses of non-target organisms to pesticides may contribute to human resource development in agricultural technology.
  • 10. Research on the prevalence of herbicides in composts, clear rules about where they can and cannot be used, and ways that herbicides can be better labelled so that users do not apply them in areas where materials will be removed and recycled by composting.
  • 11. Understanding of microbial adaptation to and transformation mechanisms of toxic substances lays a solid foundation for bioremediation technologies for environmental cleanup and restoration.


(2021):1. Develop a collaborative research proposal and secure funding with a collaborator who has expertise with bees (Objective 1). 2. Design and synthesize molecular probes (Objective 1). 3. Collect water, sediment and plant samples throughout different seasons and at different locations within the wetland system, determine removal of pyrethroids and other insecticides, and understand processes and factors contributing to enhanced removal. (Objective 2) 4. Development of a conceptual model for ferrihydrite transformation and trace element mobility in intermittently-irrigated soils (Objective 2) 5. Develop background arsenic level map and develop field screening approach for As contaminated soil. (Objective 2) 6. Isolate and characterize novel microbial species. (Objective 2) 7. Develop integrated models, and validate/improve models using published data and/or results derived from greenhouse and field plot experiments simulating irrigation of reclaimed wastewater and application of biosolids. (Objective 3) 8. Determine adverse impacts to target and non-target organisms from agrochemical exposure (Objective 3)

(2022):1. Initiate greenhouse experiments using the in vivo sampling technique on flowering plants (e.g., rapeseed, soybean) to understand neonicotinoid uptake, distribution and translocation into flowers, pollens, and nectar. (Objective 1) 2. Design and synthesize molecular probes. (Objective 1) 3. Develop bioassays and apply them for mechanistic studies. (Objective 1) 4. Collect water, sediment and plant samples throughout different seasons and at different locations within the wetland system, determine removal of pyrethroids and other insecticides, and understand processes and factors contributing to enhanced removal. (Objective 2) 5. Development of conceptual model for ferrihydrite transformation and trace element mobility in intermittently-irrigated soils (Objective 2) 6. Sample groundwater for As and date the groundwater source. (Objective 2) 7. Isolate and characterize novel microbial species. (Objective 2) 8. Clone the genes of novel microbial species and express the biodegradation enzymes. (Objective 2) 9. Study structure and functions of the cloned genes and expressed enzymes. (Objective 2) 10. Develop integrated models, and validate/improve models using published data and/or results derived from greenhouse and field plot experiments simulating irrigation of reclaimed wastewater and application of biosolids. (Objective 3) 11. Determine adverse impacts to target and non-target organisms from agrochemical exposure (Objective 3) 12. Communicate key outputs and outcomes to academic and agricultural stakeholders. (Objectives 1-4) 13. Publish major research findings in peer-reviewed scientific journals. (Objectives 1-4)

(2023):1. Conclude greenhouse experiments using the in vivo sampling technique on flowering plants (e.g., rapeseed, soybean) to understand neonicotinoid uptake, distribution and translocation into flowers, pollens, and nectar. (Objective 1) 2. Design and synthesize molecular probes. (Objective 1) 3. Develop bioassays and apply them for mechanistic studies. (Objective 1) 4. Collect water, sediment and plant samples throughout different seasons and at different locations within the wetland system, determine removal of pyrethroids and other insecticides, and understand processes and factors contributing to enhanced removal. (Objective 2) 5. Demonstration of conceptual model for ferrihydrite transformation and trace element mobility in intermittently-irrigated soils (Objective 2) 6. Evaluate the linkage between As in soil and As in groundwater. (Objective 2). 7. Isolate and characterize novel microbial species. (Objective 2) 8. Clone the genes of novel microbial species and express the biodegradation enzymes. (Objective 2) 9. Study structure and functions of the cloned genes and expressed enzymes. (Objective 2) 10. Develop integrated models, and validate/improve models using published data and/or results derived from greenhouse and field plot experiments simulating irrigation of reclaimed wastewater and application of biosolids. (Objective 3) 11. Determine adverse impacts to target and non-target organisms from agrochemical exposure. (Objective 3) 12. Communicate key outputs and outcomes to academic and agricultural stakeholders. (Objectives 1-4). 13. Publish major research findings in peer-reviewed scientific journals. (Objectives 1-4).

(2024):1. Initiate field measurements to detect neonicotinoid levels in flowering organs at multiple sites and analyze association with adverse effects on exposed pollinators. (Objective 1). 2. Develop bioassays and apply them for mechanistic studies. (Objective 1) 3. Clone the genes of novel microbial species and express the biodegradation enzymes. (Objective 2) 4. Study structure and functions of the cloned genes and expressed enzymes. (Objective 2) 5. Evaluate the linkage between As in soil and As in groundwater. (Objective 2). 6. Determine adverse impacts to target and non-target organisms from agrochemical exposure. (Objective 3) 7. Demonstration of field use of synthetic ferrihydrite for controlling geogenic contaminant mobility and plant uptake (Objective 4) 8. Communicate key outputs and outcomes to academic and agricultural stakeholders. (Objectives 1-4) 9. Publish major research findings in peer-reviewed scientific journals. (Objectives 1-4).

(2025):1. Conclude field measurements to detect neonicotinoid levels in flowering organs at multiple sites and analyze association with adverse effects on exposed pollinators. (Objective 1) 2. Develop bioassays and apply them for mechanistic studies. (Objective 1) 3. Evaluate the linkage between As in soil and As in groundwater. (Objective 2) 4. Study structure and functions of the cloned genes and expressed enzymes. (Objective 2) 5. Determine adverse impacts to target and non-target organisms from agrochemical exposure. (Objective 3) 6. Demonstration of field use of synthetic ferrihydrite for controlling geogenic contaminant mobility and plant uptake (Objective 4) 7. Communicate key outputs and outcomes to academic and agricultural stakeholders. (Objectives 1-4). 8. Publish major research findings in peer-reviewed scientific journals. (Objectives 1-4).

Projected Participation

View Appendix E: Participation

Outreach Plan

Results of research conducted by the W-4045 scientists will be disseminated to a wide range of stakeholders including other scientists, governmental human and environmental health agencies, agricultural agents, producers, manufacturers and the lay public. W-4045 researchers/extension specialists will seek proactive engagement with the above stakeholders to advance and transfer science for agriculture, regulatory stakeholders, and the public who require solutions to complex human and environmental health concerns. One vehicle for engagement with regulatory stakeholders will be through the Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science (CERSA) housed at NC State and co-directed at LSU of which two W-3045 members are co-directors.  Research results will be distributed to the scientific community through publications in refereed journals and presentations at local, regional, national, and international meetings. Results will be presented to lay stakeholders through trade magazine publications; demonstration tours; outreach presentations and materials; learning centers; technical reports to growers, manufacturers and crop consultants; workshops; online education modules; presentations to state commodity groups; state crop commissions , local watershed and conservation districts, funding organizations etc.; presentation at annual field days and master gardener shows; pesticide applicator training certification sessions, and Certified Crop Advisor proficiency testing modules. Education training of K-12 teachers will occur through interactive teaching workshops through Purdue University.  Toll-free and web-based services through the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) will continue to provide outreach to the public sector. This service puts into the hands of the public objective, science­ based information about pesticides pesticide poisonings, toxicology, and environmental chemistry. This service together with TOXicology NETwork (EXTOXNET), both maintained at Oregon State University, will continue to be key public resources for communicating the potential of agrochemical impacts on humans and environment.


The Technical Committee is composed of the members who represent the participating experiment stations, state extension services, and USDA ARS laboratories, as well as an Administrative Advisor, and a representative of NIFA.  The officers of the Technical Committee will serve for two years each, and be a chairman and a secretary.  The chairman of the technical committee coordinates the collaborative research and the annual technical meeting, with consultation from the administrative advisor.  The chairman prepares the agenda and presides over the annual meeting. The secretary is responsible for recording and distributing the minutes of the technical committee meeting, preparation of the annual report and carrying out duties assigned by the technical committee or administrative advisor. The officers and the immediate past chairman comprise the Executive Committee, which is empowered to act for the Technical Committee between annual meetings.

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